Wheel of the Year

Wheel of the Year

The Wheel of the Year

Diagram

The wheel of the year is a diagram that shows the Sun’s movement through the twelve signs of the tropical zodiac from Aries to Pisces.

You can draw a wheel of the year in many ways, but they still represent the passing of time throughout a twelve-month period.

Flow

Typically, the diagram flows clockwise like time on a clock face, but astrologers flow them counterclockwise to align with the zodiac from which the dates originally come and the rising of the Sun at the Ascendant.

The special eight celebration days have been used for centuries in many cultures around the world.

If you draw your own wheel of the year, you can color it and add the symbols that resonate with you.

In the modern world, there is no right or wrong way to tap into this ancient calendar.

Follow your instincts and create a wheel of the year diagram that speaks to you.

Astrology Journal

As an astrologer you would typically draw the wheel of the year in your astrology journal.

If you are more of a pagan, you can create your wheel of the year in your book of shadows or grimoire.

The Sun’s Path

We have watched the Sun mark time as it rises and sets every day.

At a broad stroke, the Sun’s rising position on the horizon moves slightly each day.

The daylight hours are longer in summer and shorter in winter.

Every year the Sun transits through the 360º of the tropical zodiac, and in its passing, marks special days in the year.

Cardinal Points and the Four Seasons

The Sun’s path crosses the four cardinal points each year which mark the beginning of the four seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter.

Please note that these dates are for the northern hemisphere.

Quarter Days

The four quarter days divide the year up into four quarters.

They are the dates of the two equinoxes and two solstices.

  • March 21st – equinox
  • June 21st – solstice
  • September 21st – equinox
  • December 21st – solstice

 

Cross-Quarter Days

The cross-quarter days divide each of the four quarters of the year.

The cross quarter days are midway between the equinoxes and the solstices.

These dates are around the 8th of the inbetween months and each year is slightly different.

The definition of a cross-quarter day is when the Sun reaches fifteen degrees of the fixed signs.

 

  • February 8th
  • May 8th
  • August 8th
  • October 8th

Spring Equinox – Ostara

Around March 21st, the Sun crosses the celestial equator at 0º Aries, moving north for three months.

It is the Aries ingress and this is springtime.

The pagan celebration of Ostara is aligned with the equinox when the day and night is the same.

Beltane

The pagan festivity of Beltane is the day the Sun reaches 15 º of Taurus.

This is often celebrated on May 1st each year.

Midsummer Solstice – Litha

Around June 21st, the Sun reaches its highest declination at around 23.5º north at 0º Cancer.

Now the Sun moves back towards the celestial equator for three months.

The Cancer ingress heralds summer.

The pagan celebration of Litha is on the midsummer’s day which is the longest day of the year and the day with the most sunlight.

 

Lammas

As the Sun reaches 15 Leo, which is typically on August 8th, it is the cross-quarter day of Lammas.

However, the pagan celebration of Lammas is usually celebrated on August 1st.

 

 

Autumn Equinox – Mabon

Around September 21st, the Sun crosses the celestial equator moving south at 0º Libra and continues for three months during autumn or fall.

The Libra ingress happens at the autumn equinox and the start of the new season.

The pagan celebration of Mabon is usually celebrated on October 1st which is a date close to the equinox.

Samhain – Halloween

The pagan celebration of Samhain is when the Sun passes over 15º of Scorpio, which is around November 8th.

In general, this special day is usually celebrated on October 31st as Halloween.

All Saint’s Day follows of November 1st.

Midwinter Solstice – Yule

Around December 21st, the Sun’s declination reaches around 23.5º south as it enters 0º Capricorn.

Now the Sun moves back up towards the celestial equator which takes three months and it is wintertime.

As the Sun enters Capricorn it is known as the Capricorn ingress when the winter season begins.

The pagan celebration of Yuletide is celebrated on midwinter’s day.

Imbolc

Imbolc occurs when the Sun reaches 15 degrees of Aquarius which is usually around February 8th, although Imbolc is celebrated around February 1st each year.

One symbol for Imbolc is Brighid’s cross made from wheat sheaves or corn dollies.

Conclusion

As an aspiring astrologer, it is valuable to understand when the dates for the cardinal signs and the cross-quarter days happen as they shift a little each year.

These special days are not just plucked out of thin air.

Often at the start of a new season, the news channels will state that, “Spring is starting on March 21st at 4:37pm” and this statement may seem weird.

Now that you know how each season is timed (by the Sun’s ingress into a cardinal sign), you can fully understand the seasonal changes and the cross-quarter days that occur at around six-week intervals.

If you are just starting out, pay attention to the equinoxes and solstices first.

Then explore the cross-quarter days afterwards.

The whole year begins at the vernal equinox when the Sun enters Aries around March 21st every year.

Starzclass

Aspiring Astrologer Activity: Wheel of the Year

In your astrology journal and with a compass and protractor, please do the following:

  • Draw the diagram for the wheel of the year with four concentric circles.
  • Divide the outer wheel into the four seasons.
  • Divide the second wheel in, into the months of the year.
  • Divide the third wheel in, into the twelve signs of the zodiac starting with Aries in the ascendant position.
  • Divide the center wheel into the eight celebrations of the wheel of the year.

Extend Yourself

  • Color in your wheel of the year and decorate it as you see fit. Use your intuition as a guide.
  • For the next celebration that is coming up, give some thought and list what you want to manifest for your life during that period.

Share your drawing on social with the hashtag #starzologywheeloftheyear or send a link to your artwork to me at starzology@gmail.com.

 

Interior Pages

Here you can see the right hand pages from a few of the zodiac notebooks.

The Astrology of Autumn

The Astrology of Autumn

by Alison Price
Image by Michal Kubisek

Image by Michal Kubisek

Autumn

The Four Seasons

There are four seasons each year; spring, summer, autumn and winter.

The seasons start when the Sun enters one of the four cardinal signs which are Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn.

These seasonal ingresses are the time markers for the year and the basis for calculating the tropical zodiac, which is the one used on my site, and that references time not space.

The Sun spends three months, or one quarter of the year, in each season.

Autumn or Fall

As the Sun leaves Virgo and enters Libra the third season of the year Autumn begins.

During its passage of Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius the autumn season develops and the beginning is very different to the end.

Mild temperatures at the start of Libra lead through to cooling and far crisper weather at the end of Sagittarius.

The Harvest

Autumn is the time to gather in the crops and store grains to sustain animals and us over the long winter and into the early spring.

We who live in the developed world and reside in major cities may be slightly out of touch with the sequence of growth and harvest for food.

We just pop into the local deli or bakery and pick up a fresh loaf of bread, baked and sliced that morning.

Rural dweller on farms and small-holdings do notice the changing year more closely.

Libra

Venus rules Libra and she also rules sugar and the fructose in all fruits and berries.

During the Libra part of autumn the late fruit is harvested (the early fruit harvest starts at Lammas on August 1st).

Typically at this stage the food plants have their sugars fully developed even in crops like onions and potatoes.

Plants are ripe and juicy.

Scorpio

As the Sun enters Scorpio the leaves fall profusely and annual plants start to decompose to provide nutrients for the next year’s trees and crops.

This is the transformation period of plant’s decay and part of the cycle of nature.

It is reflected in astrology by the Sun being disposed by Pluto as the ruler of Scorpio.

In many plants the seeds for the next year are being created in pods and flower heads and they wait for the Sagittarian breezes to blow them hither and thither.

Seed distribution is a process of autumn and can be spread over the whole three months.

Sagittarius

The last sign of autumn is Sagittarius.

By now all the leaves have fallen and bare branches abound and this allows the wind to whisk through the branches.

Jupiter’s influence as the planet of Sagittarius now disposes the Sun and we can see much further through the trees and our horizons are broadened at this time.

The late crops are now in and the animals have grown in their thicker coats ready for the cold ahead.

The final migrations have finished and long journeys by birds and herds have come to an end.

Did you notice? Really?

Did you notice all this going on?

No?

Neither did I.

But I live in Vancouver city where I can see the changing seasons by the trees in the streets being stripped bare and the varying colours throughout the city’s parks.

This year I hope to pay more attention, will you?

by Alison Price

Halloween in the sign of Scorpio the scorpion

Halloween in the sign of Scorpio the scorpion

October 31st

October 31 is Halloween and also known as All Hallows’ Eve.

Halloween is traditionally the night the dead rise from their graves until the dawn of All Saints Day when they are once more put to rest.

Hence skeletons and ghosts are the theme.

November 1st

All Saints Day follows Halloween on November 1st each year.

Samhain begins at sunset on October 31 each year.

It is an old Celtic festival which came from the northern hemisphere and celebrates the completion of taking in the harvest and crops.

It indicates the darker days of the year and winter will soon be upon us. Samhain is traditionally celebrated with the burning of village bonfires.

The Astrology of Halloween

Astrologically the sign Scorpio is associated with the end of things, death and the dead.

The animal that symbolizes Scorpio is the scorpion. Not all scorpions are poisonous but many are deadly.

It seems the smaller the species the more venomous the sting. Several scorpions simply paralyze their prey and eat them live.

Every Halloween the Sun is at 7/8 degrees Scorpio.

Trick or treat

Now this is a practice that sticks in my craw.

I love that the kids dress up and have super inventive costumes. This stimulates creativity and their imagination.

I love the streets and gardens decorated with tombstones, spiders and pumpkins. Soma have smoke and eerie music to set the tone for the evening.

Having lived in Africa where hunger is pretty much the norm for many people, the practice of buying candy to give to the kids at the door so they can have a sackful at the end of the night is strangely disturbing.

I would be happier if the kids gathered food for those in need instead.

Maybe I’m still not fully assimilated into life in North America. They do say that resistance is futile.autumn-2905_960_720-2